Model #MTW5700TQ0, this washer was making a noise that was described as a loud whine whenever the machine was washing, but it was very noticeable during the spin cycle. When I arrived, I stared a wash cycle to hear the noise for myself and once I did, I knew right where to start looking.
When an unusual noise occurs from any appliance, the best place the start is to get your ears around the unit and see if a location can be determined. Removing panels and access covers may help, but I try and limit the parts I remove until I have a good idea of where I am heading. This washer being part of the Whirlpool family, has a cabinet that can be easily removed to get me near every part of the washer, and because the noise I was hearing seemed to come from the bottom front, the cabinet had to go.
With the cabinet out of the way, the noise was definitely coming from the pump and motor section which is located near the bottom on the center line of the machine. Because both components are attached to each other, it is difficult to tell which one is making the noise. Fortunately, the pump is held to the motor with metal clips that can be easily snapped off the pump allowing the pump to be easily removed from the motor shaft.
With the machine off, I removed the clips and pulled the pump from the shaft. Then I restarted the cycle, but this time the noise was gone. These pumps are constantly spinning as long as the washer is agitating or spinning. They contain a hard rubber impeller that spins toward the tub when washing, and away from the tub while draining. The impeller rides on a Mylar washer that acts like a bearing, allowing it to spin freely on the housing. Sometimes, debris like sand will get stuck between the impeller and the Mylar resulting in a noise that starts low and usually ends in a leaking pump some time down the road.
On this washer, I replaced the pump being careful not the spill the water from the drain hose all over the place. Once everything was back together, the pump was quiet, and the washer was working well.
Just a note: when replacing these pumps, remember to align the hoses the same way they were removed, and secure the spring clamps to prevent leaks. It is easy to get distracted and forget this important step.